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SPRING/BREAK Art Show will return for it's eighth year in 2019. The 2019 theme is FACT AND FICTION.

“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Punctured by the printing press, defeated by the photograph, Fine Art’s urgency for scientifically rendering human perception in the 21st Century seems to have come to a full stop. Nonetheless, a dialog between Abstraction and Representation still toggles, with artists suggesting a strata of nuanced vantage points along the art-maker’s expressions of the Real.

As Abstraction and Representation have linked arms in a dance, so have artists with their own self-identification within a work. For better or worse, artist identities and lives are more and more considered alongside their artworks, rather than exterior to them as Wilde once advised, and the artist’s personal morality within that work also plumbed, with increasing vigilance, to further defy the Preface of The Portrait of Dorian Grey.

In this way, the “fact” of a person and their environment—the artist and their world—and the “fiction” of their creation—their art—feel blended more than ever.

In light of this osmosis, SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2019 seeks similar inquiries into the paradoxes of FACT AND FICTION. The 2019 exhibition aims for works dealing with self-mythology, history, memory, cultural conspiracy, propaganda, appropriation, psychedelia, and/or a focus on subjects related to the utterly un-provable—the occult, religious, pseudoscientific, and pseudohistorical, pseudepigraphica to mythopoetica.

In current events, the Symbol, or signifier, has begun overshadowing signified as a sometimes-stand-in for the Real. To some, a 2017 painting by Dana Schutz symbolizing racism became racism. To others, terms ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’, suggesting the impossibility of Objective Truth on the one hand, became Objective Truth on the other. A potential Supreme Court Justice’s past transgressions feel symbolic of his ability to judge the law to many, legal validation of claims notwithstanding, and a president’s pure embodiment of success, in PR braggadocio alone, is enough to keep hundreds of thousands of his superfans enamored.   

Accounting for the power of this symbolism within the realities of 21st Century life, the primacy of the insinuation, and the spirit of something ‘feeling’ like it’s true (even when it is)—SPRING/BREAK Art Show 2019 will explore exhibitions that contend with this tug of war between real and unreal, symbolic and literal, fact and fiction, for-real and ideal.

References in the current art landscape include but are not limited to Sophie Calle’s queasy voyeurisms, Richard Prince’s aesthetic thefts, Bryan Zanisnik's familial performance installations. Genevieve Gaignard and Cindy Sherman blur the self, with every photograph transposing themselves into Pop cultural shorthand, while Jenny Holzer and Barbara Kruger engage with the visual language of marketing and propaganda, avoiding autobiography altogether. Gregory Crewdson captures cinematic snapshots of the American unreal, nesting intimate domestic guilt within epic 1980’s genre movie landscapes, borrowing from a language that framed our home lives as Reagan-era kids, where Azikiwe Mohammad paints the true intricacies of his family history and life, with brush strokes far from photorealism. Red Grooms engages historic figures and events in his often cartoon-like pieces, Peter Saul paints surreal hypercolor roadmaps of real political intricacies. Consider the family role-reversal photography of Zhiyuan Yang, the fantasy newspaper headline paintings of Guy Richard Smit, Shona McAndrew’s swapping out of more typical Classical sculpture subjects for herself, and the myriad of other working artists of today and yesterday infusing their artifice with realism, or couching reality with a formalist plea for the unproven.

Philosopher Francis Bacon suggested truth was the child of time. With so little room to see the big picture with Contemporary Art, how do artists today wrestle with fiction in order to approximate a truth ahead of time? When is art a lie that reveals the Truth in the way Picasso meant it? When does this simulation of the real become the real, as Jean Baudrillard supposed?

As the musician Steve Dallas once said of J.J. Hunsecker, ‘you’ve got more twists than a barrel of pretzels!’ People, please show us the anatomy of these many salty bends. 


Mucus In My Pineal Gland, by Juliana Huxtable (Capricious & Wonder, 2017)

Labyrinths, by Jorge Luis Borges (Borges and I, pg. 246 – 247, New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1964)

Headless, by K.D. (Introduction: Headless Commercial Thriller by Alexander Provan, pgs. 11 – 43, Sternberg Press, Triple Canopy, 2014)

9.5 Theses on Art and Class, by Ben Davis (The Agony of the Interloper, pgs. 89-97, Haymarket Books, 2013)

The Legend of Maya Deren: Volume I, Part II (The Instrument of Discovery and The Instrument of Invention, from ‘An Anagram of Art, Form, and Film’ by Maya Deren, pgs. 564-567, 576-579, 594-602, Anthology Film Archives, 1998)

Mysteries, by Colin Wilson (Revelations pgs. 330-368, on mysticism and reality, Aldous Huxley and mescalin, René Daumal’s ‘anaesthetic revelation’ with carbon tetrachloride, et al, G. Putnam and Sons, New York, 1978)

Film Culture Reader, edited by P. Adams Sitney (Metaphysic of Ordet: A Letter by Carl Th. Dreyer, pg. 27-28, Cooper Square Press, 2000)

Music for Chameleons, by Truman Capote (Handcarved Coffins: A Nonfiction Account of an American Crime, pgs. 67-146, Random House, 1980)

Simultaneous Paris ex-pat couple-confessional two-fer: Incest – The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin 1932-1934 by Anaïs Nin / Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Pseudo-historical, faux-autobiographical (or is it?) supernatural epic poem double bill: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri / The Changing Light at Sandover by James Merrill 


F for Fake (dir. Orson Welles, 1973)

She Puppet (dir. Peggy Ahwesh, 2001)

Starship Troopers (dir. Paul Verhoeven, 1997)

Land Without Bread (dir. Luis Buñuel, 1933)

Momotaro: Divine Sea Warriors (dir. Mitsuyo Seo, 1950)

Born in Flames (dir. Lizzie Borden, 1983)

Emitaï (dir. Ousmane Sambène, 1971)

Family Nightmare (dir. Dustin Guy Defa, 2011)

Sans Soleil (dir. Chris Marker, 1983)

Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson, 2016)

Flames (dir. Josephine Decker + Zefrey Throwell, 2017)

Catfish (dir. Ariel Shulman + Henry Joost, 2010)

Fuji (dir. Robert Breer, 1974)

Picnic at Hanging Rock (dir. Peter Weir, 1979)

The Imposter (dir. Bart Layton, 2012)

*Please note, all details regarding the application are provided here on the website and we do not accept proposals via email. All applications are reviewed by the end of the year and notification is emailed to the applicant. Once submitted, all application fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. 

We look forward to receiving your application and reviewing your curatorial proposals. 

Photo Credits: Top, The Patterson-Gimlin Film, frame 350 352, by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin; Middle, still of Picasso from F for Fake, by Orson Welles; Bottom Middle, Drive-By, Side-Eye, 2016 (c) Genevieve Gaignard; Bottom, still from Momotaro: Divine Sea Warriors, by Mitsuyo Seo.